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Reminder: Woodson Due $4 Million Roster Bonus in April

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Reminder: Woodson Due $4 Million Roster Bonus in April

As reported by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel back in January, cornerback Charles Woodson is due a $4 million roster bonus at some point in the month of April.

Because of the implications $4 million would have on the Packers' salary cap, the decision the Packers make in choosing to pay Woodson or asking him to restructure his deal will similarly affect other players on the roster.

As of March 31, the Packers ranked 26th in the NFL in salary cap space at $3.425 million under the cap, according to Aaron Wilson of Scout.com. Only six teams in the NFL have less room.

The remaining space will be eaten up quickly when the draft choices sign their contracts. It's difficult to project exactly how much money the Packers will need to sign their rookies because only the highest 51 contracts on the team count against the salary cap, and it's possible trades will be made during the draft affecting both the number of draft choices the Packers have and how high they may select.

Regardless of how the draft plays out, there will be very little salary cap space for the Packers to sign players currently under contract to extensions such as quarterback Aaron Rodgers, linebacker Clay Matthews and wide receiver Greg Jennings, for example.

One way the Packers can create a little room to operate is to restructure Woodson's contract by spreading out his bonus over the remaining three years of his contract.

The exact date of Woodson's bonus has not been reported, but a good guess is that it will be due by Monday Apr. 16 when the Packers begin their offseason workout program.

The choice of whether or not to restructure Woodson's contract would be a consensual agreement by both parties. The player does not have to agree to any such deal.

If Woodson doesn't restructure, the Packers could cut him, and he would become a free agent, although that doesn't seem likely.

The Packers could choose to pay Woodson his bonus and try to create space other ways such as cutting either wide receiver Donald Driver or tackle Chad Clifton. Retirement by either player would work the same way.

Any decision to cut either Driver or Clifton may not come until training camp or the regular season when their roster bonuses are due.

One more way that salary cap space could be created is through the potential retirement of safety Nick Collins who is scheduled to meet with the Packers some point this week.

Perhaps it's not coincidence that the meeting was scheduled this week before Woodson's bonus is due. If Collins does retire and extra salary cap space is created as a result, maybe the Packers choose to pay Woodson's bonus now and not spread it out over future years.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (8) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

How much does Collins count against the cap this year?

GBP 4 LIFE

Mike's picture

Something like $4.1 Million...

Lars's picture

Collins would give the Packers enough to pay the rookies (estimated at $5.5 million) with a few mil. left over. Then you have Driver, who's already on record as saying he would take a pay cut. If DD is cut outright there's another $5 million.

Too bad Hawk can't be cut w/o significant cap penalty because his salary is already dead money and that cap hit goes to $7 and then $8 million in the last two years of his team-unfriendly contract.

Woodson restructuring would only push a cap hit into the next few seasons an un-TT-like thing to do.

ohenry78's picture

I don't recall this being an issue when Andrew Brandt was cap manager.

zeke's picture

Probably because Woodson wasn't due a roster bonus when Andrew Brandt was cap manager, although Brandt did negotiate Woodson's contract when he was originally signed in 2006. I smell a rat.

ohenry78's picture

Well, I just meant general cap space issues. I don't recall there really being a time where the Packers had to be so careful or that they were so tight on cap space.

Mel's picture

Problem is that the cap is lower now then it was in 2009. Plus it isn't moving up till 2015 per the new CBA. We didn't have these problems before because the cap went up a couple million every year. Also with the new CBA the min a team must pay is 90% of the cap so things are alot tighter now for a few years. Going to be intresting to see how things go from here till the cap starts going up agian..

Oppy's picture

ohenry78,

you have a short memory.. Brandt was with the Packers from '99 to '08. That means that he was handling player negotiations and the salary cap as a whole when Sherman was the GM.

That means that he was probably as much involved in the salary cap nightmare- and make no mistake about it, it was a NIGHTMARE- that TT inherited from Sherman as Russ Ball is involved in the currently tight salary cap situation the Packers are in right now.

Remember, the Packers had to let both Wahle and Rivera go due to cap issues, and also attempted to renegotiate Sharper's contract as well. These were cap-induced necessities.. And not only were the Packers in the red, but it was with a roster that was very old (not much upside) and not very deep at all.

Right now, TT & Ball have a tight cap situation- at least for the year- but not a long-term or immediately dire situation.. And we have a youthful roster with quite a bit of depth.

Funny how our memories sometimes fail us.

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